Sunday, January 31, 2010

Driving Me Loco

I have a few issues with driving in Utah. It's just a weird place in general, as you know, but driving is an especially weird experience, specifically on the freeway.

First, as everyone knows, the actual speed limit in Utah is 10 mph more than what is posted. If the sign says 65 and you're going 65 you're going to get honked at, flipped off, and passed. So the rule of thumb is that you treat it like it's 75. Now, the convention in places where the speed limit is actually enforced is that you go about 5 miles over the speed limit. That way you won't get pulled over and you'll keep up with the "common speed." So in Utah you have to pretend that the speed limit is 75, then add on the standard convention and drive at 80 mph just to keep up with the flow of traffic.

To preface this next gripe, I just want it on the record that I don't think Utah needs a carpool lane anywhere. Traffic isn't bad enough on its one major freeway to justify it. And Utah definitely doesn't need the you-can-only-enter-and-exit-when-there-are-dashed-lines policy in the carpool lane. Maybe that time and money would better be spent on a carpool lane on University Parkway to clear up the congestion before and after home football game days that includes a detour that goes through the In 'n' Out drive thru.

Anyway, the good people of Utah were given a carpool lane and never given instructions on how to use it. So you get this division of people in the carpool lane that consists of: 1) People in trucks and rice rockets who drive too fast and tailgate you because they think it's their "personal" lane, 2) People in SUVs and minivans who drive too slow because they think it's the "family" lane, and 3) People from out-of-state who go the speed limit (80, as previously shown) because they know how to use it.

For proof of Utah's backwards driving habits I'll just use one more example. Just today I was driving on the freeway in the carpool lane, going 75-80 mph. An F250 came up behind me in the carpool lane and tailgated me for 1/2 mile until we got to the dashed lines, left the carpool lane and passed me at about 95 mph. Dles anyone else see the irony in this? This redneck doesn't mind endangering peoples' lives and risk getting a ticket going 95 mph and tailgating, but heaven forbid he cross that magical double white line on the road. The carpool lane is confusing for them, they don't know how to use it.

But I'm not here to point out problems, I'm here to provide solutions. I suggest that we put up this sign on the freeway to educate the public on proper lane use:

I think that will clear a few things up.


  1. Hahahahaha! You are so funny. I miss you. But not the jerks that drive in Utah. No, I don't miss them at all. I used to get soooooooooooooooooooooooo MAD!!! Thanks for taking me down memory lane. How are you and the Mrs? You seriously need to get on Facebook.

  2. Your usual reasonable remedy for such longstanding problems. Ia also think that carpool lanes should be reserved to freeways consisting of not less than 9 lanes. In your case 25% of the lane capacity is used for about 5% of the traffic,whereas in Seattle it is a waste of 33% of capacity.i could go on........and on ,and on ....

  3. thank you for describing the core source of my road rage. i feel like i'm going to sleep better tonight.

  4. In Brazil the big highways are set-up as you describe with different speed limits for each lane.